Sending an interview invitation email is an exciting step in the recruitment process. It may be tempting to take the easy way out and use an interview invitation email template – but don't. Investing time crafting a personalized email inviting someone for an interview will benefit your brand and your business.
Interview invitation emails provide candidates with a snapshot of how you work. They're an opportunity to sell your company and promote the role. In competitive industries, where vacancies vastly outnumber candidates, a well-written interview invitation email can differentiate between filling a vacancy and not.
As video interviews become the norm, your interview email needs to do more than simply state the date and time. You'll need to include time, technical details, task information, and even advice on dress code.
In our guide, we explain how to write the perfect interview invitation email for any business with the help of our templates.
What is an interview invitation email?
Interview invitation emails are personalized and professional correspondence sent to a candidate, asking them to join you for a formal discussion about the role.
You may be inviting a candidate for a telephone interview, video conference, or physical interview. During the recruitment process, you may invite one candidate to all three.
There are no fundamental rules about the interview email format. They can be as short as a few sentences or lengthy descriptions of the interview process.
The crucial thing is that the recipient should have every piece of information they need to decide whether to agree to the interview and what they need to do to prepare for it.
You also have a legal duty to ensure that every job seeker can attend an interview – this may include having to adapt to a jobseeker's requirements.
Why interview scheduling emails are crucial in the Zoom age
Most interviews were conducted in person in the past, but the pandemic has changed how recruitment is done.
Zoom, Skype, and Microsoft Teams are all increasingly popular ways of interviewing potential candidates. During the pandemic's initial stages, video interviews surged by 67% as organizations sought new ways of engaging potential candidates.
Today, video interviews are a crucial part of the recruitment process and are here to stay. Two-thirds of recruiters plan to continue virtual onboarding after Covid, People Management reports.
Arranging video conferences adds additional complexity to the process, with candidates requiring significantly more information than just time and place.
As well as time and date, come of the other information interviewees will require includes:
- Log in details for the video conference
- A calendar link
- A start time and an end time (including details of your timezone, for remote workers or overseas candidates)
- A brief outline of the discussion
- Details on who will be present at the discussion
- Dress code
- If you're asking them to deliver a presentation, details on suitable software
- A back-up plan if the technology doesn't work
The importance of a thoughtful interview invitation
Every piece of correspondence your business sends should be professional, but it's crucial with interview invitation emails. A positive, personal and professional interview invitation provides candidates with an insight into how you work.
Interview invitations are essential for executive candidates and those in skilled occupations with high-demand. In specific sectors, such as medicine, the creative industry, and teaching, there are more vacancies than candidates, which means you must invest the effort to attract the best candidates.
A recent study of recruitment in the medical profession found that "promoting personal connections with each candidate" was fundamental to successful recruitment in the digital age. A well-written, personalized, and professional email can improve your business's perception among jobseekers and encourage them to attend an interview.
There is a financial imperative too. Recruitment experts Glassdoor estimate that it costs more than $4,000 and takes 27.5 days to recruit a new employee. If your email invitation letter fails to generate any replies, you could find yourself significantly out of pocket.
"Why can't I just send a calendar invite to the candidate?" you might ask. While it may be tempting, you should resist the urge. Calendar notifications are impersonal and unprofessional. You can send a calendar invite once your applicant has accepted, but don't make it the first contact you have with a potential recruit. Instead, write an email to schedule an interview.
Email format for inviting candidate to interview
First things first, interview invitation emails have their purpose and structure. You can learn more about professional email etiquette in our in-depth guide. Still, you need to be slightly different format in your invitation letters. You'll want to provide the 'who, what, when, and where' of the interview.
We've studied the email invitations from several of the world's leading firms, and they have seven things in common.
- Thank the applicant for applying
- Invite them to an interview
- Provide all essential details
- Tell them who will be present
- Encourage them to connect and confirm
- Ask if they have any special requirements
- End enthusiastically
1. Thank the applicant
It's always positive to thank applicants for the effort they have made in applying for your position.
2. Invite them to an interview
Tell the applicant that they have been successful at the first stage (or the second or third stage, as appropriate) and that you are inviting them to an interview. Be specific about the interview type, whether it's a phone interview, video interview, or physical meeting.
3. Provide all essential details
Your applicant will need to know the interview's date and time, but they may need to know additional details. You should provide information on any tasks you ask them to do, including presentations. Provide information on the interview's length and, if you wish, details on the interview structure – whether it's a panel interview, a 1-to-1 discussion, or a presentation, for example. Ensure you leave nothing out.
4. Tell them who will be present
It's courteous to tell the jobseeker who will be present during the interview. The applicant can prepare by doing some research.
5. Encourage them to connect and confirm
Be clear to jobseekers that you need a reply. You can provide a deadline for all responses, particularly if you have a reserve list of other potential interviewees. Offer the option to email or call.
6. Ask if they have any special requirements
You have a legal duty to ensure that your recruitment is fair, so ask applicants if they have specific requirements that you may need to accommodate.
7. End enthusiastically
End your email positively and encouragingly. This could be the start of something special.
How to invite candidate for interview by email
Suppose you've read our framework for constructing the perfect professional email. In that case, you might be wondering how that translates into an interview invitation email? Let's take a look at a suitable email format for inviting candidates to interview. Here's everything you need to include.
1. Use the person's name
You should personalize your email correspondence, so you should use the interviewee's name. Emails are less formal than letters, so it's OK to use the first name. If you want to know more about how to start a professional email, check out our in-depth blog.
2. Thank them for applying
A little thanks goes a long way. Thanking your potential interviewee is a positive way to start the email, so make sure you do.
3. Invite them to an interview
It can be easy to lapse into an official tone when writing an interview invitation but don't. Use the active voice when telling a candidate you have selected them for an interview. Whether you reviewed each application or not, you're representing the organization, so write that way.
4. Provide crucial details
Remember the who, what, when, and where. Include everything in any email to invite shortlisted candidates for an interview. Time, date, location, and process are all critical pieces of information you must not miss out on.
5. Tell the applicant who is going to interview them
It's professional to tell people who will be interviewing them. It enables them to do some background research, including checking out company profiles and LinkedIn profiles. Before sending the interview email, advise any colleagues who are mentioned by name in the message.
6. Encourage them to connect and confirm
Ensure that the applicant confirms their attendance. Give them a confirmation date if you wish. You can send a reminder email out a few days before the deadline should you want to.
7. Ask if they have any special requirements
You have a legal and moral duty to ensure that all applicants have a fair and equal chance to attend an interview. By acknowledging this and encouraging applicants to contact you, you're doing everything you can to ensure a transparent and open process.
8. End professionally
We've written a detailed blog on the best practice for ending professional emails, including the best sign-offs for any situation, including the most formal ones. It will give you more insights on how to end an email for the candidate the best possible way.
9. Proofread the email
There's nothing worse than a poorly written email to a candidate. So make sure to double-check your email to invite shortlisted candidates for an interview in case of grammar or spelling errors before pressing 'send'.
Interview invitation email samples
Here are some example interview invitation email templates you may find helpful.
This one is relatively formal and provides all the details required in an interview invitation email to a candidate.
As we've said before, video conferences and online interview emails need to include specific details for jobseekers. Here's an example of a video interview email template.
First interview letters are typically formal and short. By providing candidates with information on the process from the get-go, you can reduce any anxiety they may feel. It also allows them to prepare, which should hopefully translate into a more meaningful exchange during the interview itself. You can also base the second interview invitation email on this template.
The final interview is your last chance to assess the candidates and gauge their fit for the role. If there are elements of their experience you would like to explore, then be explicit. Give the candidate the chance to express themselves and impress you. If you want to give feedback, it's usually better to come from the recruiting manager. Here's a sample final interview invitation email.
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